I thought I'd reflect on what, for me, were the highlights of the BETT show this year. By 'highlights', I mean things which I found inspiring or interesting. My first highlight concerns digital reading.
Sally McKeown, in her talk called Reading for Pleasure: The Technology and the Future of Literacy, mentioned the appalling statistics (from 2005) that 25% of the adult population in Britain reads litle or nothing. Of course, I don't know what they counted as 'reading': people seem to be reading text all the time, and presumably they read the TV pages to see what's on. Perhaps they also have subtitles on while they're watching TV. I know that's not exactly high literature, but we do need to define what we mean by 'reading' when having such discussions I think.
Indeed, Sally identified 5 different sorts of reading experiences being enjoyed by (young) people these days, these being
- Distributed narrative, such as by email (which reminds me: I keep meaning to have a proper look at Daily Lit, which allows you to read a book in email messages or by RSS feed).
- Wikis (eg Wikibooks)
- Twitter fiction
- Publishers' Microsites, and
- Digital fiction
A forthcoming issue of Computers in Classrooms will focus on digital reading, so I hope to explore these topics further then. If you have any views or experience of these or any other aspects of digital reading issues, or ebook readers, please consider contributing to the newsletter.